New research paper – Custom-made 3D printed masks for children using non-invasive ventilation

Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is the delivery of breathing support via a facemask used to treat ineffective breathing and improve quality of life and life expectancy. The fit of current masks for infants, and those with facial asymmetry can lead to poor NIV performance and skin damage.

Led by Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the project was supported by the NIHR Devices for Dignity MIC, the 3DLab and clinical engineering department of D4D’s host – Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust working with the ACES team at Sheffield Hallam University.  The team have been exploring the use of innovative 3D assessment and manufacturing technologies to deliver novel mask-face interfaces to optimise mask fit to the needs of children and adults with small or asymmetric faces.

The research has been led by Professor Heather Elphick and supported by funding from the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme.

Findings are now available online in the Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology (JMET).

This paper aims to describe the processes undertaken to investigate and compare currently available technologies for 3D scanning children and to explore the design of a system for creating custom-made paediatric NIV masks within the NHS.

The paper is available here.